Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day that never ends....take 2!

Inspection: accomplished! Thanks everyone for your thoughts and prayers over a few frustrating days.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

This is the day that never ends, it just goes on and on my friends.....

**Warning: this blog post may contain traces of griping and sarcasm. However, please be assured that I am writing this to process a long and tiring day....this is not a typical day for me, and I still love Caracas and I especially love my teammates. Also, no insurance brokers were harmed in the writing of this blog post.

ACT 1
9:45 am. As I said to Angela this morning, "Do you ever have one of those days when you wake up and you already wish the day was over?" It has just been a long and tiring day...It started this morning when we drove to another part of the city to get an insurance inspection done on my car. Angela came over and we headed out to pick Chris up (who had already been out with one of the pastors from church). Traffic, of course was ridiculous, and it took us about an hour and a half to get to the destination. I need to add here that my GPS states it is a 7 km trip that we took. I didn't quite understand where my insurance broker was telling me to go, so we got to the general area, parked at a pharmacy and let the guy know where we were. Of course, it turns out we were just around the corner from where we were supposed to be so after meeting up with him and figuring that out, we pulled into the shop only to be told that they couldn't inspect the car because it had not been washed. Say what. I wouldn't say it was dirty, just dusty but it had to be clean. I don't remember him saying it had to be washed...but maybe he DID say it and I just didn't understand. That's usually how I roll. So we left with the resolution to return again tomorrow with a clean car.

ACT2
Coming back from the inspection, the car began to overheat while we were on the highway. Thankfully, Chris was driving and right away slowed down, pulled over and turned on the heat to get it away from the engine. So that was us, driving on a perfectly balmy day in Caracas with the heat on full blast. At least I know now that if a freak blizzard ever blows through Caracas, I can live in my car as needed and it will be much warmer than my house. It turns out that there is a problem with the coolant level (as in the level consistently goes down as it leaks out...hmmm). So I will keep it topped up with water, so I can get to my inspection tomorrow and then try to get it into the mechanic asap.

Intermission: Insert various emails, phone calls, and conversations that I won't get into but really didn't do much to alleviate the stress of the day!

ACT3
We all picked up the kids from school in my car and went to the car wash to do our solemn duty of washing the car. We went to a car wash in the parking garage of a mall. Which to me, always seems like a strange, but genius place to put a car wash. They have quite the set-up as a line of men take their turns pre-treating, power spraying, and sudsing the car (by hand!) before sending you through the automatic bay with the spinning scrubbers and a rinse. The kids were so excited and decided that the spinning things were made of feathers. Peacock feathers I think it was. Then you get out of the car so they can dry it off, vacuum it and detail the inside. I wonder what the guy thought about my cushion on the drivers seat. Hey, short people need to see out the windshield too. The funny thing is that Chris was driving, so maybe they just though he likes to be comfy.... Thankfully, there was a little shop to buy treats etc while we waited and it was good to relax for a minute. I bought a bubble gum scented air freshener. Lukas and Mackenzie got "nerds" candy and a serious discussion about Willy Wonka ensued. Chris got me outfitted with new windshield wipers. And off we went!!

**I must say that I am not used to having a car this clean. In Canada I usually just washed it myself which meant I usually only went to the car wash 2 times a year: once in the summer and once in the winter. And I always did a terrible job because my glasses would get all misty, the soap brush was twice my height and my arm got tired of waving that power rinser for what seemed like an eternity.

ACT4
4:00 pm. We arrive at my place, empty the trunk and realize that in the hustle of getting in and out of the car and removing valuables while they vacuumed the car, some important papers got left at the car wash. Without them, I couldn't go back for the inspection tomorrow. So Chris and Angela graciously went back to the car wash on their way home, and just as I'm writing this and was praying about it, I received word that they got the papers. So we are now set for tomorrow!

ACT 5....?
I am thankful that I am home safe, enjoying the quiet. Thankful that we can laugh about this now. Thankful that I can trust that God is in control even when I feel like banging my head against my freshly washed car. And thank you Chris, for your kind reminder that although it has been a crazy day, it's not over yet! We'll see.....we'll see...

Friday, January 20, 2012

Apartment Update and Coffee Woes

Thanks to everyone who has been praying for me to find a new apartment! There is a possibility through my tutor, a member of her family has a small house for rent, 2 bedrooms. I am hoping that this weekend I'll be able to go see it, apparently it is only a 5 minute drive from where I live now, which is great since I would kind of like to stay in this area of the city because I'm just getting to know it. If I can see it soon, I will be able to decide if it is what I need in regards to space, budget and security. Please pray also as I will be meeting with my current landlady (Miriam) sometime next week so we can finalize everything for moving out, return of the deposit etc. In the past she has asked me to pray for her, so I also definitely want to follow up and invite her to church (again)....she has yet to come, but says she wants to.

In other news, I am learning how to make coffee. Well, I mean GOOD coffee. I have always preferred tea to coffee, but enjoy a good coffee on occasion. I love going over to the Hieberts and drinking their coffee b/c it's always good. Seriously. And in Costa Rica I drank some really amazing coffee. But I have always fallen short in the coffee-making process (even with a coffee machine in Canada....how can you go wrong with that?) and so after receiving a coffee press from the Hieberts and various coffees while in Canada (ie: Starbucks and Timmies) I am DETERMINED to master the art of coffee making with a french press. After a few days of mediocre coffee, I desperately consulted the Google and some Youtube videos (I learned how to cut my own hair thanks to Youtube, after all) but they were less than helpful. So please. If you can help an aspiring coffee addict, I would love to hear your suggestions.

And in case you were wondering, my last week in Costa Rica (ironically) I had the best cup of coffee I have ever had in my life, made with with a type of coffee bean called "peaberry". And if you are ever downtown in San Jose, I might just be able to direct you to the coffee shop where I had it!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Return of the Blogger!

You can run but you can't hide! It's the return of....THE BLOGGER!!!!


Well, I suppose this picture isn't my most flattering, OR scary..... but it makes me laugh every time I see it. This is me and my awesome new friend Kendal, she rocks my socks off (which is obvious, looking at the pic of us). We finally got to meet (albeit much too briefly) while I was in Canada over the Christmas holidays. I had an awesome time making my way from Sylvan Lake and Red Deer, to Edmonton, to St. Paul (where I made some more new friends!), to Cold Lake, to North Battleford via Lloydminster, a brief stop in Maidstone, and a final stop in Leduc before flying back to Venezuela. It was quite the whirlwind trip but it really did fill my heart. Highlights included visiting with friends new and old, watching some epic lightsabre battles/dancing at the Haazen household, Christmas with extended family, two turkey dinners, and skating! Some things I found strange about being back at Christmas were my trips to Walmart, the traffic, fashion (amazing how quickly it can change!), and how easy it was to converse with people (which resulted in me talking alot, and super fast my first few days back!) Thanks to everyone who made my trip a great one! I made it back to Caracas safe and sound on Jan 2 and things seem to be getting busy again. All of a sudden I seem to have all sorts of little projects to work on....and being someone who is not a great multi-tasker, I'm hoping that I'll be able to spread myself out as needed! This next month will also bring apartment hunting, as I have to move out of mine (boohoo!). Finding a rental in Caracas is not easy and despite everybody else's pessimism about it I am going to choose to stay positive and trust that God will lead me to just the right place within my budget. I would appreciate your prayers!

I hope to get out a newsletter in the next couple weeks as well, so stay tuned later this month. And one thing I want to try is some video blogging this year. Some churches have asked me to send them videos once in a while, so I thought this could be useful in a number of ways, and of course help my friends and family to remember what I actually look like. So that will be coming in February. Anyhoo, I guess that's all for the moment. I'll leave you with another picture of my happy moment skating...maple leaves and all.